Apple Vision Pro review impressions paint a confused picture

The Apple Vision Pro headset on a futuristic blue and pink cyberpunk background

The Apple Vision Pro headset on a futuristic blue and pink cyberpunk background

After months of waiting, Apple Vision Pro reviews are out in the wild, and it seems the new mixed reality headset is failing to generate buzz. While a remarkable piece of tech, the Apple Vision Pro price appears to be a major sore point.

Launching at $3,499, the Apple Vision Pro was reported to have sold around 180,000 units during its pre-order period. However, many of those were purchased by scalpers looking to sell the devices at a profit.

The Apple Vision Pro is aiming to kick off an era of Spatial Computing, a technology that is already being copied by the Meta Quest 3. Alongside 3D movies with Disney Plus and a cosy Travel Mode, the headset may well be one of the best mixed reality headsets around, but is that enough?

According to Apple Vision Pro reviews prior to release, the $3,499 headset is a fantastic piece of kit. The device’s micro-OLED display is incredibly crisp, and video content rendered within the headset itself is stunning to look at, especially when compared to the cheaper displays in, say, the Meta Quest 3 specs.

Furthermore, hand and eye tracking are fabulously integrated, although they do have issues. With Apple’s keen eye for user-first design, early impressions of the headset detail a remarkably easy to use implementation of the technology.

However, the Vision Pro does still have drawbacks. For starters, the device’s video passthrough is still blurry. While a step above its competitors, you will still notice poorer quality recreations of your real-life environment when you’re in the headset. Unlike the Meta Quest 3, video passthrough is Apple’s entire shtick with the Vision Pro, and we’re still not able to see through the headset as if we weren’t wearing it at all.

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On the other hand, the Vision Pro’s passthrough does something all other headsets fail at. With its brilliant cameras, you can actually use your phone, watch TV or play on your Nintendo Switch with the headset on without the bright screens glaring inside the display. While you’ll only ever really want to answer a text inside the headset, it’s an amazing step ahead of the competition.

There’s also the issue of weight. While more comfortable than some headsets, the Vision Pro is weighty, and follows the same issues that Meta has with its headsets. While it offers far more support than Meta’s flimsy straps, the headset is still front-heavy, and can become uncomfortable the more you use it.

Eyesight, the feature that shows users your eyes on an OLED screen on the front of the headset is also underwhelming, if not entirely creepy. It’s a great idea, allowing people you’re hanging out with to see you inside your headset, but it’s creepy recreations of human faces makes it a haunting sight. Please just take the headset off your face.

Finally, there’s the issue of software. As we’ve reported previously, major apps like Netflix aren’t coming to the Apple Vision Pro — neither is YouTube or Spotify. Additionally, a number of the device’s apps are simply iPadOS apps that don’t support a number of the headsets features.

If you can stomach the price, the Apple Vision Pro reviews reveal a brilliant headset that’s rather confused. It does what it sets out to do very well, but it isn’t exactly needed. Without a heavy gaming focus, there’s a sense that the new mixed reality headset is an intriguing idea that’s executed phenomenally, but isn’t really needed.

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